I finally took the advice of fellow writer, Dale Phillips, and put several of my short horror stories together in an anthology. ‘Terrible Things’ is a collection of works previously published, featured in online magazines, and a couple of tales making their début.
Currently available in paperback (and awaiting acceptance for e-book standards) on Amazon.
Hello, y’all. I know it has been ages since my last post. But I do have a good reason for not writing blogs. I wrote my first novel.
On a typical work day as a mental health therapist in 2015, I was sanitizing a key object in play therapy with children: the doll house. Younger children use this to act out their wishes for home, how they feel about home, and sometimes what actually happens in their homes. Yet a story idea hit me like a brick, making me freeze in mid wiping of tiny plastic furniture.
What if what happened in the doll house really happened to an unsuspecting family? Of course, it won’t be tea parties.
Thus Doll House was born. I wrote the backbone of the story during the 2015 National Novel Writing Month and just got all the kinks worked out and the covers created (with the help of my husband). In October of 2016, it became available on Create Space. And just a few days ago became available on Amazon.
I am going through the very tedious job of making it readable for e-book, as I was quite tab and return button happy, along with special characters, in the paper version. And electronic books don’t like those.
I am greatly enjoying my first self publication, as I did not want an editor telling me how a haunted toy should act. I was in Salem, Massachusetts during Halloween weekend with the New England Horror Writers and had a blast signing a few copies.
Now that it is NaNoWriMo 2016, I am back at a laptop typing away at another book. Hopefully a children’s book about an extraordinarily artistic family with some strange powers. And I encourage all writers to find a local NaNoWriMo group for support and write-ins. http://nanowrimo.org/
Thanks for stopping by and sorry for the long delay!
So most of us wake up to a blissful Sunday morning with a big breakfast or donuts before church. Wellllll, the Mister and I were awakened by our cat Maximillian wandering around in the rafters of the roof. A closet door was left open, and curious kitties will explore.
What’s the big deal about a closet door being left open? Well in our quaint New England home, all three closets lead to crawl spaces used for storage. We found bags full of MBTA transit worker uniforms when we first moved in. But anyway, Maximillian first roamed the crawl space. Pictured below is the crawl space where we first took turns watching for signs of Max.
Squatting here and trying to avoid damaging any tubes or insulation, we discovered how our kitty managed to get into the roof area.
Yep, a horrid, creepy shaft running inside the roof’s slant. So, I was already very frightened that Maximillian would be injured by nails or something else. But by now, my runaway imagination conjures ninja rats, rabid raccoons, freaky little fairies that eat teeth. Or worse: a spider.
Maximillian is finally lured down one of these shafts with some soft food. No nail punctures or evidence of being attacked by a horde of rats. But he was quite traumatized I think. At least for a few minutes. He tried to get into my closet a bit later. Sigh.
So, summer is winding down, especially with the arrival of daytime temperatures only in the 60’s here in Massachusetts. And I saw the only movie that mattered this summer: Guardians of the Galaxy. Having never read the comic book, or even heard of the comic book until the movie, I had nothing to compare it to and greatly enjoyed the film. Yeah, I know this deletes some of my geek points, but I still have plenty of geek left. Through this experience, I believe I have found the perfect man.
Ladies, meet Groot.
Yeah. Okay. So. He’s a tree.
What makes Groot the perfect man? Let’s start with the physical attributes. He’s tall. Dark. Has compassionate eyes and a great smile. His abilities range from very handy to extraordinary. He can reach all those things on top shelves that my short stature cannot. He can stretch and grow to help you bust out of an intergalactic maximum security prison if needed. He provides shade in the blazing sun and grows his own flowers for you on Valentine’s Day and birthdays. He produces light during power outages. And he speaks only when he needs to. His personality is quite incredible. Groot is friendly to and gentle around children. He is a loyal friend. When others sit around talking and planning, he is doing. And most importantly, Groot would gladly impale anyone that tries to harm those he holds dear to his lively heart.
The most exciting and anticipated weeks of summer drew to a close yesterday when Germany took the World Cup by a narrow 1-0 win over Argentina. Futbol (or as we backwards Americans call it, soccer) is the one team sport I actually enjoy watching. Like the American mis-named football (where the ball is mostly carried by hand), basketball, baseball, and hockey, it does take a team to win it.
In June, columnist Ann Coulter wrote an article blasting soccer, calling it a “sign of the nation’s moral decay.” Although soccer/futbol can be boring, the 2014 World Cup proved many of her points erroneous.
First, Ann claims that individual achievements are no big factor. Along with that, she claims there are no heros. Ann, doubting people, and world, meet Germany’s Miroslav Klose, who holds the record of 16 goals scored in World Cup games. And speaking of Germany, “Super Mario” Goetze, kicked the goal that won Duetschland’s title. This single shot is now called “the goal heard around the world.”
Now, on to us Americans, who are improving their skills in the World’s Game. My man, goalkeeper Tim Howard, earned his own Sweet Sixteen, by blocking 16 shots in a single match from Belgium. This is the most he’s stopped in his career, and the most attempts blocked in the World Cup in a single game since the 1950’s. If Tim hadn’t been such an epic hero, the Belgium-U.S. game would have looked more like the Germany-Brazil stomping.
And lastly on Ann’s point of there being no individual achievements in soccer, yes, there is an MVP award. Lionel Messi of Argentina was awarded with the trophy, along with the Golden Glove award presented to the German tank goalkeeper, Manuel Neuer. Though us Americans will argue that Tim Howard deserved that coveted Glove.
Ann indicates that there are no “humiliations” or major injuries in soccer. Well, if you didn’t pay attention to the matches of the 2014 World Cup, pay attention now. American team captain Clint Dempsey and Jermaine Jones, midfielder, both sustained broken noses. Jozy Altidore tore his hamstring in the first U.S. match and did not play for the rest of the tournament. Alvaro Pereira of Uruguay took a knee to the head and was knocked out cold, lying unresponsive on the ground. In the final match, Germany’s Christoph Kramer took a jarring hit to the head that sent him spiraling to the ground, and he may have a concussion. He appeared very dazed after bouncing off the opponent’s shoulder and a few minutes later, required assistance off the field. And, oh yeah….
No humiliations in front of millions of people? This year, the host team of Brasil was crushed by the Germans. The German team played with absolute precision, and the sloppy and impulsive Brazilian team was no match for them. This video about sums up the 7-1 score game :
The host nation sadly left the field that day knowing they had let their entire country down, playing on their own home grounds. And they did it in front of millions of people. Then during the final match, a BILLION spectators watched Argentina’s Messi miss his free kick. He was so disappointed that he appeared to not look fans in the eye when accepting his MVP award.
And obviously football is not played with your hands. ITS WHY THE WORLD CORRECTLY CALLS IT FOOTBALL. The absence of being able to catch the ball makes footballers use specific athletic skills to carry it down the field.
Perhaps this comparison to America’s favorite past time will help non-football (soccer) fans understand the excitement: If you enjoy baseball, you find it exciting that people stand in a diamond shaped field and wait for a ball to come their way. You hold your breath once the bat cracks the leather ball, sending it soaring, anticipating that no one will catch it. You stand up and cheer when its a base hit or better yet, a home run.
The same goes for the real football. A defender kicks the ball past forwards, the midfield players pick it up and toggle it around their opponents. Then the correctly shaped ball is kicked to a forward, who skillfully pops it around shark-like defenders. Fans in the stands and at home stand up and clench their fists, heart racing, eyes unblinking and glued to the action. And lastly, the striker succeeds at kicking it past a 6-foot-plus, 200 pound goalkeeper with ninja reflexes. Nothing but Net.
So, you don’t like real football. And I don’t like American football. But don’t, for a second, think that it’s what has “demoralized” me. 😉
Due to the Mother Nature celebrating her immense freedom of slamming the Eastern Seaboard with Hurricane Arthur, the Boston Firework Spectacular was moved to July 3rd. Seeing that it was a quick decision and being on a business day, we guessed that it might not be as crowded as our first adventure to the show a few years ago. So we parked at Alewife, took the subway into Cambridge and found a spot right in front of the barge on the Charles River.
The Boston Pops performed, a children’s choir sang that “Frozen” song, and the Beach Boys played three songs. Everything needed to be slightly rushed as the skies grew darker. For some reason, right before the fireworks began, Fenway’s lights came on and illuminated the entire river.
Yes, the firework show was indeed dazzling, even though the Pops did not get a chance to play the 1812 Overture. And no, I do NOT have any pictures or videos of the spectacle, as I am NOT a dee-oosh who blocks everyone’s view of the fireworks with their stupid phones!!! You know who you are dee-ooshes! Yeah! You show up at the last minute, standing in any crack you can find, totally in the way of spectators who claimed their spots an hour ago and aren’t jerks who set up camp on the sidewalk! Seriously, does the show look better through your tiny damn phone screen?!
Deep breath. But the fireworks aren’t the story we will be telling our family at Christmas or our future grandchildren.
With smoke still lingering in the indigo Boston sky, everyone packed up chairs. We froze when hearing a commentator over the loudspeaker thanking everyone for attendance, but we needed to
E V A C U A T E.
Like cattle, hundreds or thousands of people herded across away from the river and towards the Kendall train station. First, the sky lit up again. But the fireworks were over. Lightening illuminated Boston’s cloudy, churning sky. Thunder rumbled. We reached the outbound train station and within a couple of minutes, people began screaming like a tidal wave was spilling into the streets of Cambridge, Mass. We could then hear rain pellets pounding the buildings. Then, WOOSH!
As Arthur’s edge collided with fronts from the north, huge rain drops pelted us poor souls. More screams of unnecessary panic rang through the wet streets as people dashed to the Mariott hotel, towards the Chipotle, or under whatever covering they could find. We crowded the entrance to Kendall Station, and my heart beat raced as I feared the impact of panicked humans, and the Mister voiced that someone may get hurt. Umbrellas fanned out, but quickly folded backwards as Arthur’s winds gusted. Raincoats began wearing people instead of the other way around as the water fell relentlessly. The Boy, frustrated by drunk or rude spectators during the show, donned his Ramones sunglasses in the blackness of the storm and stood defiantly out in the downpour until the crowd slowly piled into the safety of the train stop. When the wind died down, he opened the umbrella. As the weather and people calmed a bit, the Mister got out the camera.
My husband and I laughed loudly as our wet clothes clung to our skin. My Chuck Taylor shoes turned into puddles that splashed with each step. Finally the crowd started moving under the direction of the T’s security. I was bumped and shoved as we inched towards the steps and called out politely for people to remain calm and not trample me. It worked, as others scooted away from me. Hanging on to the Mister’s hand so not lose him, we carefully took each slippery step down. The Boy predicted the ride on the subway to be “soggy human soup.” And he was right. Soaking people sat in chairs and hung on to rails, but all were in good spirits, at least on our car.
Four stops later, we reached Alewife where the Beetle was parked. While waiting 45 minutes in line to exit the parking garage, I took off my shoes and rung out my sopping socks. Not many radio stations came in under the garage, so I slid in my Ramones collection CD and we rocked out to American punk to make the wait easier.
Although I will always have the fireworks beautifully exploding in my memories, Arthur’s July 3rd storm will was the moments that brought on the most laughs and memorable moments.
“May Day World” is based upon an extremely vivid dream I had a in 2012 about the zombie apocalypse and how it changed my family.
Here is an excerpt from the beginning:
Many months have passed since the husband, Liam, and I had a shouting match, for such noise attracts Them. And They bring death, or something like it. Our last argument was shortly after the bombs left craters on the western seaboard, instantly killing an unmeasurable amount of people and filling the air with devastatingly powerful toxins. We were both in such shock, and I was providing crisis counseling to many people who lost relatives, and we took our stress and anxiety out on each other. Little did we know that the bombs were only the beginning.
So if you would like to add zombies to your summer, don’t miss out on The Undead War! Maybe we’ll all learn a few new survival tips!